I have been gone for awhile. I have been given much time to think on the gifts God blesses us with in our lives. My daughter just had twins! A boy and a girl. They came early and are very small. Oh but they are healthy and growing daily. What a blessing! While I am not at home in Idaho yet, I am now finding a few moments here and there to work on this post. (There’s a reason we are gifted with our children when we are young – you know!) So as I shift my brain from feedings every 3 hours, dirty diapers, and a tired old body, please bear with me. Please Note: I started this post in April and it is now September. I am back I think for awhile anyway.
From Sola Dei Gloria’s blog at wordpress.com (I absolutely love this blog) Thank you, thank you PJ Miller.
GETHSEMANE: The Necessity Of Standing Alone
2009 March 29
One week from today Christians around the world will be celebrating Palm Sunday and entering into a week, which for many, is a season of renewed reflection on the last days of Jesus leading up to Friday, the crucifixion, his death, and ultimately, Resurrection Sunday. During this time of year, more then any other time, I find myself drawn to messages and sermons related to these events. The one below by Charles H. Stalker I came upon tonight and want to share a few excerpts.
The title caught my eye because of a saying my youngest son and I use, one which we discussed in depth years ago and now use to speak to each other on occasions when one or the other of us must decide to take a stand against popular opinion….even if that popular opinion is held by loved and respected brothers and sisters in the Lord:
“There are times when the man or woman of God must stand alone”
If you’ve served and followed Christ for very long, you’ll know this is true. But as hard or lonely as this may be for the believer, it cannot compare with Jesus’ time spent in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Christian fellowship is wonderful-and needful. But our greatest struggles on this Christian journey are experienced alone with God. Not only in wrestling with our flesh-the old sinful nature, but in working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Amen? Submission does not come easily for any of us. I’m convinced true burden carrying, or standing in the gap for the souls of others, can only be done through first, total submission to God: after all, we wouldn’t think of trying to place a “load” to carry on a wild ass, would we? LOL. Well, neither would God.
GETHSEMANE: The Necessity Of Standing Alone
By Charles H. Stalker
And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. Luke 22:39-46
The Son of God had five thousand when He was feeding them with the loaves and fishes, He had a multitude when He was opening the eyes of the blind, but when He was sweating the death sweat for a lost world, He was alone.
I want to say, beloved, that this is as true as it has ever been. You will spend much time alone with God, and the greatest struggles and the greatest battles of your life will take place when you are alone. There will be meetings and there will be messages, but you must have something that will take you through alone.
Until you have something that will defy the devil and defeat all hell and drive back the powers of darkness when you are alone, you will never have much victory. It is good to have someone to pray with, that is the right thing, but there is nothing that will give you courage and build up your character so much as being alone with God in the great battles of your life. We are apt to depend on people, and we are apt to listen to them.
Jesus was left by the multitude and left by His followers, that is the thing; left by His followers, those who had been with Him and knew Him best. They were tired and weary, and they had no conception of what was going on; they saw it not. It is good to be with our friends and to hear their encouraging words, but, beloved, you will get more alone with God, in prayer, in communion and in struggle than you will ever get in any other way.
This is the point where a great many fail; they are not prepared to go through alone with nobody around. Remember you will have to die alone, and God wants you to get the victory alone.
Another thing I want you to notice. Carnality is sleeping while Holiness is weeping.
That has always been the case. Now you want to get away from the sleeping to the weeping, and if you weep, you will weep alone. You live and talk with your friends, but when you go to prayer they are not there.
Look at Jesus up there on the mountain, looking over Jerusalem while it is sleeping, and what does He say? “How often would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her brood under her wing, and ye would not.” They would not. That was the secret. “Your house is left unto you desolate.” It is too late now; the opportunity is past. God help us to see these things this morning. If you laugh, the world laughs with you; if you weep, you weep alone.
Why did He weep? Because He saw a lost world.
Why did they sleep? Because they had calamity.
Their eyes were open to see the miracles, but when it came to the great struggle, they were asleep. The Son of God had no doubt walked as far as they had and was just as weary, but He was facing the cross. He was praying for a lost world, and His heart was beginning to break, and Peter, James and John, not Judas now, but Peter, James and John, the chosen ones, those who had been with Him most, were sleeping.
How few are willing to go out and go through with God alone. It means a great deal, but it is worth all it costs, and things you get that way you can have for time and eternity. So you see how much it meant for the Son of God to go through that struggle. When He came back to His disciples, He found them sleeping. How it must have torn His very heart.
Three times He returned and found them sleeping. He was alone, and He was weeping, and He sweat as it were great drops of blood, even on a cold morning.
Someone says, “How do you know it was a cold morning?
Later we read, “Only a short distance away Peter was warming himself by a fire.”
But Jesus was sweating; it was a burden of the soul.
Real prayer takes something out of you. It took sweat from the Son of God. It takes something out of you, but it brings something to you. A great many people think it is just a pastime, but when the heart is in it, it takes something out of you.
Now a-days it is easier to get preachers and singers than pray-ers. People will do everything else before they will pray. There is a demand for pray-ers, but there are not enough of them around to meet the demand.
There is something peculiar about prayer; there is something special about prayer. Talking to man is one thing, but talking to God is quite another, and it seems that the devil wants to keep people from praying.
The Holy Ghost is faithful, and beloved, you do not realize what privileges you have until you are filled with the Holy Ghost. He makes intercessions for you with “groanings which cannot be uttered”.
And it says Jesus “sweat as it were great drops of blood falling to the ground.”
And He went back the third time, but they did not understand. They did not notice the disappointment when He said, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” He asked for just one hour, but they were too sleepy, and they did not wait with Him even one hour.
God help everyone of us this morning not to miss anything He has for us. Another thing that seems so very impressive, was the last thing Jesus said to them. He had awakened them twice; but the third time He went back He said, “Sleep on now”. It is one of the saddest utterances there is in the Bible.
They left Him alone in the hour that He needed them most. There was only one Transfiguration, and there was only one Gethsemane. Now they had disappointed Him, and He said, “Sleep on now.” Later, these disciples went to the Upper Room and received the Holy Ghost; but just think of the people who never wake up.
What is time for? Time for weeping, praying and groaning for a lost world.
Others may be sleeping all around you, but you can be wide awake: and the greatest honor that can be given to you is to have a burden for souls that will lay on your heart till it breaks.
The willingness to carry the burden for souls is rare; not many have it, and some say they would not like that kind of burden.
It takes real life to carry one..
Thanks PJ Miller for posting this. It spoke to me at a time when I have been fighting this burden because I don’t think I have time, yet, time is short and I must carry the burden for souls. That is what matters.